Agent of Arsenal FC midfielder Mikel Arteta has suggested that the Spaniard is happy at the London club among reports of interest from Fiorentina.
Mikel Arteta’s future at the London club has come under a lot of speculations with reports suggesting that the Gunners are looking to replace him in the midfield. But his agent has now claimed that the midfielder is keen to extend his stay at the Emirates, amongst rumours linking him with a move to Fiorentina.
Arteta joined Arsenal in 2011, after spending eight seasons with Merseyside club Everton, as part of an extremely busy deadline day for the Gunners that summer. Since his arrival Arteta has been an ever present in Arsene Wenger’s startling line-up and has made 134 appearances in all competitions in the last three seasons.
The 32-year-old was used in a much deeper role at Arsenal since the departure of Alex Song to Barcelona in 2012 and he did well to adapt to his new role as a holding midfielder. Despite this his defensive frailties and lack of pace was at times exposed by the opponents and there has been need for Arsenal to sign a proper defensive midfielder.
Arteta’s current contract with the Gunners expires in 2015 and Arsenal are yet to offer an extension to the former PSG midfielder. Arsene Wenger is expected to spend heavily this summer and a new defensive midfielder seems to be high on his priority list. The likes of Morgan Schneiderlin, Sami Khedira and Sven Bender have been linked with Arsenal and if Wenger manages to sign one of them, Arteta will be restricted to a role on the bench next season.
This has led to a lot of speculations about his future at the club and a lot of European clubs are monitoring his situation at Arsenal. Italian club Fiorentina have been linked with a move for him, while Spanish club Athletic Bilbao are reportedly considering him as a replacement for Ander Herrera, who has joined Manchester United.
Latest reports suggest that Fiorentina have already submitted a £3m opening bid for Arteta, but Arsenal are holding out for £6m. But Arteta’s agent Inaki Ibanez has rubbished these claims and insisted that they have had to contact with the Italian club and that the midfielder is determined to extend his stay at the Emirates.
“I have never spoken with Fiorentina. Mikel has one year more on his contract and he has no desire to go away from Arsenal.
“He’s fine there and he’s also the team’s captain. I have not spoken with any club.
“If he’d like to come to Fiorentina? No, we’re talking about Arsenal’s captain, with all due respect to Fiorentina, he is fine there and he does not want to leave.” – Inaki said in an interview.
He might not be a first team regular next season, but his experience and Arsenal’s history with injuries mean that Arteta will get enough game time. But whether the Gunners will offer him an extension or decide to sell him this summer, is yet to seen.